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Live Updates: Pakistan School Attack


A schoolboy who was injured in a Taliban attack receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar.

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-- At least 141 people, including more than 132 children, have died in an attack on a military-run school in Peshawar. It is the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history. The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban) has claimed responsibility.

-- Militants, who apparently did not try to take hostages, used firearms and explosives in what appears to have been an indiscriminate attack.

-- A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that the attack was revenge for an army operation in North Waziristan.

-- Military officials at the scene said that at least six armed men had entered the school and that about 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside. Police report that all militants have been killed and the attack is now over.

-- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a three-day mourning period across the country. Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, meanwhile, said she was "heartbroken" over the "senseless and cold-blooded act of terror."

*NOTE: Times are stated according to local time in Peshawar

18:45 16.12.2014

Overview of what has happened in Peshawar today by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal.

Militants have killed more than 130 people at a military-run school in Peshawar, most of them children, in a devastating assault claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

Heavy gunfire and blasts rang out after gunmen clad in black entered the school, setting off hours of mayhem as military forces and anguished parents surrounded the building in the northwestern Pakistani city's high security zone and hundreds of students and staff remained inside.

The chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pervez Khattak, said that at least 132 people, including 125 children, were killed in the attack.

Hours after it began, security officials said government forces had killed five Taliban attackers and that a sixth blew himself up inside the school.

"6th terrorist killed in last block," Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted hours after the attack began. "IEDs (bombs) planted by terrorists hamper speed of clearance."

"Closing up," he tweeted.

Khattak had said earlier that about eight to 10 "terrorists" entered the Army Public School and College in midmorning and "opened indiscriminate gunfire."

A student in 10th grade, who gave his name as Ebad, said he had seen dozens of schoolmates killed.

"It was 10:30 this morning when we were called to the auditorium to get first aid training by an army colonel. When we arrived, firing started and they entered the auditorium, he said of the attackers. "They killed...many students. I saw about 40 to 50 students killed in front of me and they fired on the colonel."

He said he had seen four or five attackers in plain black clothing.

A Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman who called himself Muhammad Khorasani phoned a Radio Mashaal correspondent and claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the army operation in North Waziristan.

The Pakistani military says it has killed more than 1,100 Islamist militants in North Waziristan since it launched an offensive there in June using air strikes, artillery, mortar fire, and ground troops.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif travelled to Peshawar and announced a three-day mourning period accross the country.

"This is a national tragedy unleashed by savages. These were my kids," Sharif said in a statement.

Speaking after arriving in Peshawar, Sharif said Pakistan will continue to fight terrorism.

He called on all political parties represented in parliament to gather in Peshawar on December 17 for an emergency special conference to discuss the region's security issues.

Reuters quouted Khorasani as saying: "We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females."

"We want them to feel the pain."

Khorasani told Reuters that the attackers had "instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel."

But authorities said most of those killed were children, some of them rushed to hospitals by ambulance as the siege continued and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Military officials at the scene said that at least six armed men had entered the school and that about 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside when the attack began.

The Taliban say they sent in six gunmen wearing suicide vests.

But security personnel at the site told reporters some attackers had escaped.

Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver, said he was standing outside the school when the attack began.

He said that "firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers."

A teacher told a private television station the attack occurred during exams.

"We were in the examination hall when the attack took place," he said. "Now the army men are clearing the classes one by one."

The attack was one of the deadliest ever at a school worldwide.

More than 330 people, most of them children, were killed when Islamist militants seized a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan in 2004.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, and dawn.com

18:40 16.12.2014

18:33 16.12.2014

Death toll now at least 132, including 125 children, according to the chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pervez Khattak.

18:21 16.12.2014

BREAKING: AFP reporting police have said the Pakistan school attack is over and that all militants are dead.

18:09 16.12.2014

Malala Yousafzai "heartbroken" about attacks

Taliban militants shot Malala in the head in 2012. The 17 year-old won the Nobel Peace prize earlier this year for her activism.

"I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us," Malala said in a statement. "Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this. I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable."

via Reuters

17:49 16.12.2014

Breaking: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announces three day nationwide mourning period over school attack, says parliamentary parties will meet on December 17.

17:48 16.12.2014

17:44 16.12.2014

Harrowing scenes at a Peshawar hospital today. People are grieving, but many are also angry.

Tears And Coffins At Peshawar Hospital As Death Toll Mounts
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17:39 16.12.2014

Updates from account tied to military spokesperson Asim Bajwa

17:35 16.12.2014

AFP deputy bureau chief in Pakistan says death toll now at 130

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